Welcome to the newest edition of Four on Four. We’ve chosen four of the most entertaining and intelligent wrestling fans on Twitter and decided to peer into their minds four questions at a time. This week, we have a TNA theme considering it’s TNA Day! Now let’s meet the panel:
TNA10Percenter: Long time TNA fan. Joey Image once crank called him. Introduced typicalROHfan to the internet wrestling world in 2006.
Be sure to follow his Twitter.
1, Who should defeat Bully Ray for the TNA title and who will defeat Bully Ray for the TNA title?
While I would like to see Chris Sabin be the guy to beat Bully Ray for the TNA title, I still feel that AJ will end up being the one to do it come Bound For Glory. Besides Christopher Daniels, Chris Sabin is one of the more unsung MVPs of TNA. Having been there since 2003 non-stop aside from his two year hiatus from injuries, he has helped put on some of the best matches in the X-Division and Tag Team Division. He is still one of the younger guys on the roster at the age of 31. Ever since returning from injury, he has seemed to adjust his style so that his injuries like what he had in 2011 and 2012 will no longer happen again. I feel that he should take the title, but I do not see it happening.
There’s still three months between now and BFG, but I am currently not feeling the AJ push too much. He is one of my all time favorites and while this push has been meant to repackage him, an issue I see with it is that I don’t think the fans really know how to take to him due to his actions. Another one of the bigger issues with him in-particular is that he is not winning matches decisively. I’m not saying have him win every single match, but take Slammiversary where he lost to an annoying roll-up to Angle when AJ is the guy being pushed. it is just very stupid. When you look at WWE, there is a reason why guys like Cena, Orton, and Sheamus are as over as they are. They constantly win. Why not have AJ do the same? Hopefully within the next three months they can get something a bit more decisive going with him because as of now with how he is currently being pushed, I cannot picture him and Ray in the main event of Bound For Glory (even though I do feel that is still the direction they will go.)
Should: Chris Sabin. He’s got the big story of returning from multiple injuries. Dude’s great in the ring, too, and is a fresh, young, attractive face that the audience I feel would enjoy as the champion.
But, based off of the way things are going in TNA right now, the man that will beat Bully Ray for the title will probably be Magnus. He’s getting pushed really hard, and that’s not a bad thing: he can talk, he’s got a good look, and as long as they keep putting him against good wrestlers like Bobby Roode, he will soon be a good to great wrestler.
Also, TNA is really big in the UK and having a big star who also happens to be British would really help them out in that market, so from a business side it makes more sense than Sabin.
I’d probably be ridiculously happy if Sabin won the title this Thursday as I’ve been a huge fan of his for many months. I think it would do be a nice twist into TNA’s longer term booking style much like the Aries/Suicide/Sabin situation. Bully and Sabin have always had great matches in the past so I’m looking forward to this one, should be great!
However, I think it makes more sense for AJ Styles to defeat Bully. All the stars are in alignment for AJ to take the championship at Bound For Glory, but I’m not sure how the crowd will react to it. This character change has confused most crowds and he’s not been getting the reactions he once did. I think AJ’s the safe choice though as they’ve been building to it for quite a while. He was the champion when TNA scored it’s highest rating after all.
This is a tough one to answer. To me, there is no single top guy in TNA. Of course Jeff Hardy is a popular choice, but I don’t see it happening anytime soon. I wish the answer was Chris Sabin, as we head into their match this Thursday. I think it would create a special moment. The fact that the match is taking place on television makes me leery of this choice, but you never know what will happen in TNA.
I think Hardy or Joe will end the reign. Although, as Magnus has a commanding lead in the BFG series, I would love to see him do it.
2. Who is currently the best performer in TNA?
TNA is a bit of a tale of two rosters in my opinion. On one side, they have some of the best talent in the world. On the other, they have some of the worst. Right now, my favorite performer is Austin Aries. While he has been sort of in limbo the past few months, for a while, he was the MVP of TNA since his return in July of 2011 being in the best match of the night of almost every PPV. He is usually one of the most over guys no matter where they go. He has a ton of personality. It’s just too bad that they have sort of put him on the sidelines since Ray has won the belt.
Christopher Daniels would be a close #2 where ever since he turned heel, I think he is at the best stage of his 20-year career as a character and in-ring.
Austin Aries. My perception of Aries is probably a lot different than anybody else’s, because I literally never saw him wrestle until he showed up in TNA in 2011 for his second run. I never watched ROH, and I didn’t watch TNA during his first run, and Aries just blew me away with how crisp he was and his well-structured litany of moves. Austin Aries was in my favorite match of the entire year of 2012, and every little nuance he does, be it selling, how he works the crowd, his facial expressions, or the way he acted when he was pretending to be Suicide, makes me mark out in some way. He’s one of my favorite currently active wrestlers period, and probably in my top 10 of all time.
The top act in IMPACT Wrestling and all of professional wrestling for that matter is Bad Influence. Not only are they great entertainers, the product they present in the ring is spectacular. They had the worst storyline of 2012 with Claire Lynch but somewhat turned lemons into lemonade and saved it! They’ve had memorable matches with Samoa Joe and Magnus, Generation Me, AJ Styles and Kurt Angle, Dirty Heels, and even Chavo Guerrero and Hernandez!
Hopefully they reclaim their position at the top of the mountain and defeat ShitStorm to become the World Tag Team Champions Of The World once again! Maybe after that Jeremy Borash can bring back the impactwrestlingchat with them celebrating and calling Fergal Devitt a piss drunk or renaming Steenerico “Two and a Half Men”(kudos to whoever was there).
As a long time TNA fan, I am gauging my response based on the era where I began watching, leading up to now. I enjoy Joe’s matches and always have. I like everything about him from his entrance music, his unique look, and his even more unique offense. He’s Mr Consistency in my eyes. He’s also my wild card winner for the BFG series and I hope it’s true. I also like that hes included in the new Main Event Mafia. I feel like Joe is and always has been a top guy in TNA and is hands down my favorite.
3. What are your top 3 TNA matches of all time?
TNA gets crapped on a lot (and rightfully so in most cases) but it can’t be denied that have had many great matches in their 11-year history. Having attended many shows at the Impact Zone since 2004, I can say that I did get to see many of these matches live and some still stand as some of the best in my attendance as a live wrestling fan.
- Ultimate X from Final Resolution 2005: X-Division Title: Petey Williams (C) vs. Chris Sabin vs. AJ Styles
This was my first PPV that I got to attend live in Orlando and in my opinion, this still stands as the best Ultimate X that the company has had to date. 2005 AJ Styles was on another level of greatness and Sabin and Petey were also incredibly good at this stage. With some of the more breathtaking spots you will see in a match like this, it still stands the time as one of the best.
- Turning Point 2005: X-Division Title: AJ Styles (C) vs. Samoa Joe
These two have had countless matches not just in TNA, but across the world. This is the best match that the two have had. AJ played a fantastic under-dog and Samoa Joe was a complete beast in this match. On a side-note, both of them wore their best gear for this stage of their careers which I also consider a plus. While many matches have come close (Harris/Storm Sacrifice 2007, Angle/Jarrett Genesis 2009, Aries/Roode DX 2012, etc.) this is the best singles match TNA has ever had. This was also on one of three shows in Orlando that I wished I attended solely because of this match.
- Turning Point 2009: TNA World Heavyweight Title: AJ Styles (C) vs. Christopher Daniels vs. Samoa Joe
Unbreakable was a show that I missed unfortunately (as well as their two rematches on PPV in 2006) so when TNA was going to do this match again in 2009, I was quite hyped. Many feel that it is not as good as Unbreakable but in my opinion, it surpassed it. All three guys while older had become much more seasoned over the years. Daniels in particular delivered an MVP performance in the match. This was right before Hogan officially arrived and these three wanted to show the world why they were considered three of the most valuable players in TNA’s history. With the World Title at stake as well, this is the best from when all three guys interacted in the same match.
- Jeff Hardy vs. Rhino vs. Sabu vs. Abyss, Monster’s Ball, Bound For Glory 2005.
That match is one of my favorite spot matches (I love spots). Such a good escalation of violence, culminating in the insane Jeff Hardy swanton. It really personifies a well-put together spotfest.
- Austin Aries vs. Bobby Roode, Destination X 2012.
That is one of the few matches I look at and go, “this is why I love wrestling.” From the story going in, to the fact that two of the best wrestlers on the planet at the time were involved, to the actual working and storytelling of the match itself, to the finish, everything was perfect. Absolutely an incredible match.
- America’s Most Wanted vs. Triple X, Six Sides of Steel, Victory Road 2004, losing team must disband.
This one is my favorite match of all time period, not just in TNA. Such a great cap on the long-running feud between AMW and Triple X, with blood, REALLY good storytelling, and utterly insane spots, including one of my favorite spots ever, Elix Skipper performing New School on top of the cage. Just a fantastic, tremendous match with a climactic finish and consistent storytelling and escalation of violence throughout. I can’t recommend this match enough.
Wow, this is a really hard one. TNA’s had a lot of memorable matches and moments in it’s short history. I’m going to stick to X-Division esque matches here with Destination X coming up tonight on SpikeTV!
- AJ Styles vs Petey Williams vs Chris Sabin – Ultimate X – Final Resolution 2005
This is regarded by many as the best Ultimate X ever. Everything they did was awesome, and it’s what really made me a TNA fan. It was the first time I’d ever seen the spectacle that was Ultimate X. It spawned the beginning of an amazing 2005 for AJ Styles and was the end of Petey’s great run. I’d go as far to say that this would qualify for the top five matches that have ever happened in TNA. That is subjective of course. Above all, they had a great match in the semi-main event and one of the few Ultimate X matches where the structure was used to it’s fullest.
- Motor City Machine Guns vs Generation Me – Bound For Glory 2010
I think before this match and show most people had gotten sick of the mess Bischoff and Hogan had created and all the changes they had made to the once-beloved TNA product. Coupled with that was the mysterious disappearance of Desmond Wolfe with no explanation which also angered the fanbase. Ironically, without that disappearance we probably wouldn’t have gotten to witness this match. In the looming dark days, TNA really needed to impress and these four wrestlers came out and put on a masterpiece. It was the match that everyone had hoped it would be, much much better than their previous efforts which were also amazing. Nothing could stop these two tag teams as they stole the show and put on the greatest opening match I’ve ever seen. Talk about a crowd-pleaser!
- Samoa Joe vs Austin Aries – Slammiversary 2012
This was my most anticipated match-up for Austin Aries once he had re-joined TNA. Everyone who’d followed their careers up to this point remembered that Austin Aries was the one to end Samoa Joe’s legendary ROH Title reign. In my mind, that made this match even more intriguing as Aries was on a bit of a streak on his own as X-Division Champion in TNA. Funny enough, there was also another disappearance around this time that pissed off the fanbase that this time did not result in any good. For this reason, I think this match really needed to deliver to once again restore faith in those who were still watching the product. Hulk Hogan prepped a rowdy Texas crowd before the match and set the stage for Joe and Aries to steal the show, which they did.
- Destination X 2011. Zema Ion vs Low Ki vs Austin Aries vs Jack Evans.
Maybe this is not the popular choice, but the most exciting and memorable match I have seen in TNA. This match was a thrill ride from start to finish. So many creative spots and good wrestling. The Aries/Low Ki encounter when they had their respective opponents in submissions as they yelled at each other is a great memory. For my money, this match is one of the most fun moments in TNA history.
- TNA Lockdown 2010: Anderson vs Angle Steel Cage.
This match stands out for a few reasons. Anderson was working effectively as a heel at this time causing the mark in me wish to see him lose. Angle delivered some awesome suplexes and who can forget the moonsault from the top of the cage? Although it had me in fear for Kurt’s life for a moment.
- TNA Turning Point 2006: Kurt Angle vs Samoa Joe.
I loved this feud and was excited about Angle’s first TNA run. This match delivered everything it promised to. It was a long contest with several great exchanges. Angle’s submission victory felt like the best choice for an ending. I should also note that the live crowd was into this match for its entirety, which is a rarity anymore in TNA.
4. What is your favorite “bad TNA” moment?
When TNA have some bad moments, they manage to make them worse than almost everyone else. I blame good ol’ Vinny Ru for most of them (particularly in 2007 which is the year that drastically hurt the promotion overall in my opinion).
This may be a cop-out in choosing this, but I will just have to go with Victory Road 2011. What a show to be in attendance for. Rosita & Sarita/Winter & Angelina was one of the worst women’s matches I have seen live. Hernandez/Matt Morgan had another hideous match in their series of awful matches (complete with a hilarious finish with FOOD COLORING being used.) Getting to chant with my friends NO to the crowd’s request to RESTART THE MATCH for that horrendous Anderson/RVD sub-main event is a moment that I will never forget.
And of course, the infamous Sting/Jeff Hardy match. I have always described this show as: “You know your show sucked when Matt Hardy in 2011 was in the best match of the night.”
Some honorable mentions would include:
- The Goldylocks cellphone segment from a 2003 May weekly PPV. Truly awful stuff all around.
- Hermie Sadler pinning Frankie Kazarian at Against All Odds 2005.
- Destination X 2005 as a whole.
- The Karen Angle swerve at Hard Justice 2007
- Barbed Wire Christmas Tree (BLACK REIGN~!)
- Brooke Tessmacher/Tara from a December 2011 Impact as one of the worst matches the company has had that no one remembers (and I say this as a fan of both of them!)
My favorite “bad TNA” moment is not a big moment or anything, just a one-off little thing, but it’s so great. It is this:
In its short history, TNA has not only had a lot of great moments and memories, but some horrendous and at the same time hilarious ones as well. I’m going to choose one that particularly pissed me off though, Desmond Wolfe vs RVD(c). As a big fan of Desmond and TNA, I was very happy to hear that he had somehow signed with TNA instead of WWE. At the beginning of his tenure with TNA, Wolfe immediately took the wrestling world by storm as he would have two straight pay-per-view classics with the legendary Kurt Angle. This had many baffled as Russo seemingly had full trust in a non-WWE star during his two months of full control in TNA. Unfortunately, those two months would abruptly end and the Hogan/Bischoff gongshow would send Desmond Wolfe’s certain destiny into peril.
Although he’d lost his popularity with the powers that be, his immense popularity with the IMPACT Zone was never lost. Bischoff would institute a Top 10 Ranking system where fans would vote in the next opponent for RVD. Wolfe’s popularity would lead him to crush ever-popular stars such as Jeff Hardy, Kurt Angle, Sting, AJ Styles, and Samoa Joe as he raked in close to 80% of the total votes in the online polls.
However, Bischoff in all his wisdom would have Wolfe lose in a very short time on TV. They would then change the polls so only one person could vote once in a poll as they suspected cheating. They would continue to do he same poll with the exact same wrestlers and once again Desmond trampled the competition, this time garnering an even larger percentage of the votes.
He was removed from the competition the next week. After a few months, we’d never see Wolfe again on Spike. So ends the career of the ever-talented and popular Nigel McGuinness in TNA. Thanks for listening to the fanbase, Bischoff.
I love that my answer to this one didn’t require much thought. It isn’t exactly one single moment, but TNA’s attempt at recreating the Monday Night Wars was laughable and absurd.
AJ was wearing Nature Boy’s robes, Samoa Joe was kidnapped (?), Scott Hall showed up in a sweat shirt which has WOLFPAC written in marker, RVD debuted and was beaten to a bloody pulp (hilarious moment).
I could go on citing the individual moments from this travesty, but I think you get the drift. TNA has the chance to do something great with this, as they actually had a little momentum going. However, they booked the entire idea into oblivion and it was forgotten about by all. Well, maybe aside from us internet fans.
Thanks for reading. Hope you enjoyed the TNA edition and look out for one more post tonight in celebration of TNA Day!
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